Executive Roundtables

Answers you need from people who know


The MEA Executive Roundtables are industry events for leaders and executives from natural gas and electric delivery companies, supplier companies, and contractors. Participate in structured discussions regarding conference topics, best practices, and idea sharing with leaders in similar roles and help envision and prepare for a better future for the energy industry.

Fall Executive Roundtable
September 22-23, 2021 | Virtual

Spring 2021 Agenda


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM | [Optional] Rise & Grind: It’s Coffee Time!
Pre-event access for chatting and networking

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM | Welcome & Virtual Orientation 

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM | Diversity: Shift into Unity, Equality, & Celebration of Difference | Anthony Trucks
Having grown up in a foster home as the only black person in a poor, all white family, making it all the way to the NFL, having an interracial marriage, and even having a best friend since fourth grade who is a white police officer, Anthony Trucks has lived a life where diversity and racism aren’t just words; they’re the foundation of his entire life. Anthony’s experiences and perspectives on racism, inclusion, diversity, and how to make progress in our society are a breath of fresh air that creates an empowered hope for the future for any audience. He weaves together stories, lessons, and tactics that can be used immediately to open lines of communication and connection that can bond humans and organizations as they venture into the future seeking success through unity, equality, and celebration of difference.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM | Break [the Ice] Breakouts
Small, structured breakouts with facilitated networking and connections

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM | Digital Wellness vs. Overload | Adam Alter
Life during a global pandemic is anything but normal: routines have been disrupted, social events are a thing of the past, and the media never stops promising our impending doom. Not to mention that being confined to our homes means that we’re spending less time together and more time on our devices—where we can access a 24-hour stream of information. But what effect will the combination of self-isolation and prolonged tech exposure have on our mental well-being? In his New York Times bestselling book Irresistible, Adam Alter examined the behavioral forces that make our favorite tech so addictive. This talk uses his fascinating research to go one step further, diving headfirst into the psychology of the pandemic. Alter is both empathetic and constructive as he shows us how we can remain connected without becoming overwhelmed or consumed by our technology.

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM | Break[OUT]
Small, structured breakouts with facilitated networking and connections

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM | Biogas/Renewable Natural Gas Trends | Patrick Serfass, Executive Director at American Biogas Council
Biogas and renewable natural gas are growing. As an energy source it has been deemed a renewable resource. What changes is biogas having on the traditional gas delivery system? Is biogas going to evolve similar to the distributed generation model on electric grids? How does biogas fit into the electrification model associated with the electric grid? Where are the opportunities to grow biogas?

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Break [through COVID] Breakouts
Small, structured breakouts with facilitated networking and connections

12:00 PM | Wrap Up

Thursday, March 25, 2021

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM | [Optional] Rise & Grind: It’s Coffee Time!
Pre-event access for chatting and networking

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM | Welcome Back

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM | A.R.M.E.D. How to Attract, Retain, Mentor, Evolve, and Develop the Next Generation of Leaders and Employees | Commander Mary Kelly, US Navy
Getting people to work together is challenging. Office tension, competition, gossip, personal agendas and pettiness reduce morale and productivity. By 2020, millennials had become 50% of the American workforce. That number jumps to 75% by 2025. Is your organization attracting and keeping the talent you need to lead into the future? Do you have a succession plan for your senior people? Are you ready for the shifting workforce? U.S. unemployment levels are at record lows. Ten thousand baby boomers are retiring every day. Thousands of human resource directors are struggling to fill the 6 million vacant job opportunities in the US as competitors race for employees. Once they are hired, how do you keep them? How can you ensure that your employees, both new hires, and your current team, are ready for upcoming roles and responsibilities? In this highly interactive session, Mary discusses how to Attract talent by being attractive to current and prospective team members, how to Recruit the right people, how to Mentor and manage emerging employees, how to Evolve, structurally and culturally to stay relevant, and how to Develop the next tier of talent for future success.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM | Break [it Down] Breakouts
Small, structured breakouts with facilitated networking and connections

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM | Communication, Execution, and Meaning in a Tumultuous World | Mark R. McLaughlin
A brain surgeon, author, and wrestling coach Dr. McLaughlin has encountered numerous obstacles and fears over his 20-year career. He is intimately aware of the affects of these emotions on our body & mind. Through sharing life experiences and blending science with the humanities, he’s created a transferrable method to out-think fear-not just in medicine, but in life. Utilizing what he calls  “Cognitive Dominance” McLaughlin explains how this natural and intuitive psychotechnology enables you to make quick and accurate decisions in stressful situations turning obstacles into opportunities.

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM | Break[OUT] 
Small, structured breakouts with facilitated networking and connections

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM | Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) | Cari Anne Renlund, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Madison Gas and Electric Company
ESG is growing in practice as a methodology to measure the effectiveness of an investment in a company. Our energy delivery companies serve the public and are generally publicly traded. This strong connection to the public calls for a significant commitment to ESG. Company shareholders and the public are demanding companies operate with increased transparency. What are some of the key metrics used to measure ESG? How does ESG connect to existing sustainability and corporate responsibility reports?

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Break [for Safety] Breakouts
Small, structured breakouts with facilitated networking and connections

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Wrap Up

Sponsors: 3P Utility Services, GROEBNER, Michels

Executive Roundtables occur twice a year in conjunction with the MEA Board Meetings. The spring event is typically hosted in March/April in a warm destination and the fall event is typically hosted in September/October in the Midwest. Regardless of the location or if it is online, the purpose of the roundtables is to connect with and learn from your peers.

Topics include:

  • Technology trends
  • Utility case studies/successful practices
  • Industry initiatives and changes
  • Regulatory updates
  • Professional/leadership development
  • Other areas of interest to upper level personnel